Special Education

What do we do?

Berrien Regional Education Service Agency provides educational opportunities for children who encounter difficulties learning because of physical or mental impairments and disabilities.  Therapeutic services are provided to students who have a specific therapy prescribed in their Individual Education Program (IEP) during their school day. Services include occupational and physical therapy, and vision. Diagnostic services are provided to our constituent districts.  Services are provided by school psychologists, school social workers and teacher consultants. Accountability and Program Improvement/API serves districts and staff with consultation and professional development regarding compliance topics. Services and programs to transition age youth to help their independence post school career.

We are here for YOU!

  • Project SEARCH high school transition program at Spectrum Health Lakeland 
  • Camp Leo summer camp
  • Michigan Rehabilitative Services-Michigan Department of Natural Resources Summer YouthWorks program at Warren Dunes State Park.
  • Diagnostic services from teacher consultants, school psychologists, and school social workers. 
  • Involved in the Individual Education Planning Team process.  Collaboration with parents and school personnel.  
  • Diagnostic staff provide support and participate with the local districts in the Multi-Tiered Systems of Support/MTSS and SWPBIS.  They provide professional development and coaching relative to: data-based decision making, progress-monitoring, problem-solving, positive behavior supports and evidenced based teaching practices.
  • Accountability and Program Improvement services lead professional development for districts regarding state compliance and results indicators, and share out current state guidance for proactive measures.
  • Teacher consultant for the Visually Impaired (TCVI) evaluates low vision skills and blindness skills within the academic and home settings.  Individualized instruction may include Braille, sensory efficiency skills, assistive technology, independent living skills, and career education.
  • Occupational therapists (OT) provide  services, evaluation, and therapy to students with disabilities.  OTs make adaptations for seating, fine motor, and writing classroom needs.  In addition to providing professional development opportunities, the staff routinely consults with general education teachers for suggestions on dealing with ADHD, handwriting problems, etc.  
  • Physical therapists (PTs) provide services, evaluation and therapy to students with disabilities.  They provide therapy to enhance ambulation and provide adaptations to enhance student's access to instruction. 
  • Transition Coordinators (TCs) facilitate involvement with Michigan Department of Health and Human Services - Michigan Rehabilitation Services and community agencies.  The focus of agency involvement is to give students experiences and opportunities during their high school years and one year follow-up to prepare them for adult life. TCs facilitate on-going transition training, share information through the Berrien RESA website, conduct Continuous Improvement Monitoring activities for transition services for youth leaving high school.
  • Orientation and Mobility Specialist evaluates all children with visual impairment that have corrected vision of 20/200 or worse.  The service provides orientation and mobility training, including transportation. 
  • Assistive Technology Specialist (ATS) is responsible for providing evaluations to determine the most appropriate/cost effective technology a student needs as well as maintaining a caseload of students for consult services.

Contact Information

Director of Special Education
Tina Lawson
Tel: 269-471-7725 ext. 3206
Fax: 269-471-2941

Sex Education Review

As part of the Michigan's Revised School Code, Berrien RESA has made the choice to teach students about health and sex education each school year.  By doing this, we must follow rules outlined by the State which include a Health and Sex Education Advisory Board that must meet every two years for the purpose of updating and approving materials and adjust plans surrounding the law, practices, data and implementation of health and sex education.  

While Berrien RESA had plans of beginning this review in April 2020, with the unforeseen cancellation of in-person instruction due to COVID-19 that started March 16, 2020 and goes through the remainder of the school year, Berrien RESA cannot complete all the requirements and allow equal access to all communities members during this time.  Because of this, the review will go past the two-year time frame and will be completed during the first part of the 2020-2021 school year. 

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